CU invokes new rules to keep out Dhankhar
Calcutta University held the meeting of its senate and syndicate on Tuesday without governor and chancellor Jagdeep Dhankhar and approved the name of Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee as DLitt recipient at its convocation scheduled for January 28.
This was the university’s first senate meeting after the higher education department introduced rules on December 9 that stated: “The meeting of the senate/court or the syndicate/executive council or the governing board or of any other bodies or authorities of the university, as the case may be, shall be convened by the vice-chancellor with an intimation to the department”.
Before the rules were introduced, the chancellor would preside over the meeting and would approve the names of the recipients of honorary degrees.
Vice-chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee said Tuesday’s senate meeting was in accordance with the new rules and both the syndicate and senate unanimously approved the names of DLitt (honorary) and medal recipients. “As has been stated in the rules, on December 14 the university had informed the higher education department about its decision to call the meeting of senate and syndicate for approving the names of DLitt recipients and medal recipients on December 24,” the VC said.
On Monday, Jadavpur University held its court meeting without Dhankhar.
The only difference was Dhankhar had gone to JU on December 23 but could not attend the court meeting following protests by students and a section of employees. In CU, he was not even invited.
On Tuesday, around the time CU was holding its meeting of the syndicate and senate, Dhankhar was caught in a protest by students and a section of employees at JU. He had to return to Raj Bhavan without being able to preside over the convocation.
Asked whether Dhankhar would be invited to preside over the convocation on January 28, the VC said: “He will be invited.”
The university had called a meeting of its senate and syndicate on December 4 and invited Dhankhar to preside over it. The meeting was later deferred citing “unavoidable circumstances”. “We had deferred the meeting as we knew that the government was coming up with rules clipping the power of the chancellor,” said a university official.
Dhankhar had reached CU on December 4 afternoon and waited for some time in front of the VC’s locked room before holding a news conference.